Petition to Parliament on human rights atrocities in the mine-hosting communities, North West Province

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BLBA was invited on the 03 May 2013 by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Petitions to make a presentation on the petition it submitted last year 24 October in Parliament at the NCOP Traditional Courts Bill hearings. As always, BLBA extended the invitation to Motlhabe village who also made a presentation at the NCOP hearings and was similarly advised to petition Parliament.

About 20 community members from Motlhabe, Chaneng, Luka, Lefaragatlhe, and Thekwana made presentations before the Committee on incessant abuses they face since the advent of a democratic State. They cited the slow or lifeless land restitution process to be the cornerstone of all abuses taking place in their areas. The State and its Chapter 9 institutions (Human Rights Commission, Public Protector, Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims, Commission for Land Restitution, and the Farlam Commission) bore the blame for failing to come to the assistance of the most vulnerable rural communities in the country. Both Provincial and National Parliaments were also not spared for protecting or being scared of the Bafokeng.

The communities made a further demand that the Bafokeng be placed under administration and that the tribal funds be frozen. They submitted that the brutal continued mining developments taking place on their disputed claimed lands undermine their rights. That mining deals in both Bakgatla and Bafokeng ‘tribes’, are entered into with chiefs who care less about human rights.

The Committee pledged their commitment to follow up on the petition, that it was multi-pronged and complex, and that it warranted a special visit to the North West.

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